Parents and Grandparents paying out for children’s drug debts

By Rachel Maloney

After a launch of the Citywide report on intimidation Sinn Fein’s Séan Crowe TD has described the report as timely and also said that a policing service that delivered for communities was vital for building an inclusive society.

Crowe, who is a member of the Tallaght Drugs Task Force, described the reports of mothers and fathers having to pay a drug bill for their children as “shocking for some, uncomfortable but accurate”. He also said he was aware of even more extreme cases where grandmothers and grandfathers were also paying for their grandchild’s alleged drug debts.

Deputy Séan Crowe said:

“The Citywide report on intimidation is timely and the information that some Drug dealers are pursuing parents for drug debts will come as a shock for some, uncomfortable but is an accurate account of what is happening in many communities right across Dublin.”

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He also stated that it is unfortunate that this is becoming all too familiar in some areas. And the debts of thousands of euro are being demanded off of hard pressed families.

Crowe also specified:

“Vulnerable families are told in some cases they must pay up or see their loved shot dead or seriously injured. The Citywide report suggests that half of the attacks that they were aware of involved physical violence and family members of drug users being intimidated.”

He added that the report claimed that in one third of cases, the mothers of drug users are targeted, and that also in a third of cases damage was done to homes and property of users. Deputy Crowe continued saying that he felt this was not only confined to the parents of the user; “Grandmothers and Grandfathers have also been approached and forced to pay out under the very real threat of seeing their grandchild shot dead.”

Speaking of the Citywide anti-drugs campaign he welcomed the report greatly:

“It is [The Report] timely and requires a societal and justice response. It suggests targeting local criminals’ money and extension of the Criminal Assets Bureau to a localised Garda districts. This move would be wholeheartedly supported by anti-drugs activists and would take the fight directly to the drug dealers and their finances.”